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Friday, 28 August 2015

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), aka Paris of the Orient is a dense populated city in south Vietnam. It has long history and had been ruled by different peoples such as Champa Malay, Khmer, Vietnamese, French, Japanese and finally again back to the Vietnamese. Previously it was known as Saigon after the name of Sai Gon tree (many name of South East Asian towns come from name of a tree such as Malacca, Ipoh, Ketapang, Pisang, Kelapa, Nibong Tebal etc.). This city is approximately just 100km from Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The nearest by-the-delta town, named My Tho is just 70km away from Ben Thanh Market at the heart of the HCMC. How I describe this city? Hmm, the first and foremost is I call this city a 'Motorcycle City' because there are lot of motorcycles ride accross this city. It is very dense with population which can be divided into few districts. Like other big cities, during the day everybody is rushing with business. Honestly I like this city and hopefully one day I can have a residential house or shop here. Just like the current China, this city is ruled by Vietnamese Communist government. Their currency is Vietnamese Dong. It is quite easy to find halal food in this city especially around the Ben Thanh Market. There are local halal food as well as foreign halal restaurants such as Malaysian, Arabic and Turkish restaurant. In fact, one of the street has nickname 'Malay street' because of many Malaysian tourists love to stay there for years. Besides, many of the local Vietnamese also could speak Malay fluently. About safety, just be very careful. We can find pick pockets everywhere especially in certain areas in big cities around the world. Thanks to the government of both my country and Vietnam for a strong relationship. 

I believe this is a boulevard that mimic the one in Paris, developed by the French colonial government.

 Quach Thi Trang Park. I believe this is the city centre where it accomodates the famous Ben Thanh market and other tourist attractions.

 Side view of the Ben Thanh Market from 'Malay Street' @ Nguyen Ahn Ninh.

 Colonial French heritage.

 One of the mosque in HCMC.

 Telecom tower, part of modern area in HCMC.

 Ben Thanh Market.

Notre Dame Church.

 Must visit War Remnant Museum. Feel the Vietnam War effects with real facts.

Previously this is a parliment house. Now this is a Museum, The Independence Palace.

 Do not forget to visit Mekong River, the pride of IndoChina. It flows pass through six countries started from China and ended up in Vietnam.

The gigantic Mekong river from aerial view.

 Still remember the Vietnam War? Rambo? US vs Vietcong? Chuck Norris in MIA? AK-47 vs M-16? Here you can find the truth @ Chu Chi tunnel, approx. 50km from Ben Thanh.

 Some mannequin in Chu Chi Tunnel area. It is a war heritage museum now.

The real tunnel, very deep, narrow and breathless. Narrower than the Kaymakli tunnels.

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